“I am here today to tell you that opera is not dead,” director Anne Marie Ketchum de la Vega said before Saturday’s performance of the comic opera “The Marriage of Figaro.”
And then operatic voices reverberated throughout the Sexson Auditorium as the singers performed for a full crowd.
Directed by Ketchum de la Vega, the cast of twelve sang an English adaptation of the Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte all set to the famous music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Music director Wendy Caldwell and a string quartet consisting of bass, cello, viola and players accompanied the singers.
The opera buffas four acts follows the complicated love affair between Figaro and Susanna, played by Wesley Moran and Nicole Bouffard, Count and Countess Almaviva, played by Carson Gilmore and Madeleine Andragna and the young Cherubino, played by Clare Bellefeuille-Rice.
Figaro and Susanna are set to be married but the Count also has his eyes on Susanna and plans to stop the wedding, all while the young page boy Cherubino flirts with all the women in the castle including Countess Almaviva. Figaro, Susanna and the Countess work together to embarass the Count and expose his unfaithfulness, ultimately restoring his relationship with the Countess.
“We practiced for months and it really showed in the performance,” singer David Dalari.
“These singers are very young and it takes a lot to understand the character and to sing the recitative,” Ketchum de la Vega added. “For them to sing this range of music and act it all out at the same time.”
The singers put everything into the evening performance and won over the audience with their talent while also proving their ability to perform one of the most well known operas to their director.
“I was very impressed with the talent and professionalism of the entire cast, I didn’t expect this level of expertise from community college students,” audience member Brian Johnson said.
“For some of these singers it is their first opera and they put their hearts, souls and voices into doing this,” Ketchum de la Vega said. “I’m very proud because this is one of the great masterpieces of all of opera and to be able to do it here at PCC is tremendous.”
The Opera Program is accepting donations to help keep the productions running for years to come.
“It costs a lot to put on these productions so were hoping that people will step up and put some money into it,” Ketchum de la Vega said.
Donations to the Opera Program can be made through the PCC Foundation.